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Retiring town councillors will be paid around €4.6 million

The payment will be offset by long-term savings says Phil Hogan.

Image: Sam Boal

THE TASK OF abolishing town councils will see €4.6 million handed over to town councillors who did not run for election or did not get elected.

Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan revealed the figure in a parliamentary response to independent TD Stephen Donnelly, who asked for:

A detailed breakdown of all costs to date and projected, arising out of the recent amalgamation of local authorities in the State, including staff severance packages.

Hogan responded that the staff costs were absorbed by the integrated services.

“[As of 1 June], the town councils were dissolved and their functions, staff etc. integrated into the county council and the mergers of local authorities in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford took effect.”

He added that gratuities owed to town councillors would make up the bulk of the cost of abolishing the town councils.

“In terms of the costs of replacing town councils by the national system of municipal districts, the main costs arising are in respect of gratuities payable to councillors who cease to be members of local authorities, subject to certain conditions as prescribed by Section 142 of the Local Government Act 2001 and the local authority members (Gratuity) Regulations 2002 to 2006.

“It will take some time, based on the recent results of the local elections, to determine the cost of such gratuities.”

Hogan went on to say that the cost of these payments would be offset by the long-term savings.

However, estimates prepared in advance of the election suggest that the net additional cost of gratuities payable to town councillors who did not run for election or failed to get elected to county and city and county councils would amount to €4.6 million. The reduced number of councillors will ensure that this once-off additional expenditure will be offset by future savings on gratuities.

Read: “Arrogant” Phil Hogan’s visit to be greeted with protest by Letterkenny councillors

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